France cools down as just nine departments on alert

After weeks of extremely high temperatures, the mercury has dropped in all but nine departments today

Just nine departments are on Météo France heatwave alert today as temperatures cool across the country following storms.

The drop marks a significant contrast to the earlier part of the week, which saw 70 departments on heatwave and storm alert and pollution rising to dangerous levels.

Temperatures across Paris and the east of the country hit 40°C on Monday and as high as 38°C in the Aude yesterday, but today cooler air means heatwave conditions remain in just a handful of areas.

They are: Ain (01), Alpes-Maritimes (06), Ardèche (07), Drôme (26), Isère (38), Loire (42), Rhône (69), Savoie (73) and the Haute-Savoie (74).

Météo France confirmed that the “peak” of the heatwave had been seen on Tuesday August 8, with storms putting an end to this particular hot episode.

Lowering pressure over France may come as a literal breath of fresh air to some, after rising ozone pollution levels had seen speed limit cuts and polluting vehicle bans in cities including Paris and Lyon.

Yet, storms are still predicted for the next few days, including what Météo  France has called a “powerful thunder system” across the north east of the country, from the Haute-Marne to the Ardennes.

Strong winds are predicted along with significant rainfall - up to 30 to 40mm per hour - along with some hail in some areas.

Similarly, stormy conditions caused chaos in Normandy, as 1,500 people were caught overnight in train stations due to fallen trees and flash flooding.

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